New guide helps finding local services

June 13, 2008 9:02:42 PM PDT
How do you find a good veterinarian? One that offers good prices, or how about a mechanic?

Finding good service providers can be a challenge. But there is a resource that can really help. Let's start with the mechanic. We found one that is a real gem.

Emerald Auto has been in San Francisco for 35 years. The mechanics maintain and repair all makes of cars and their customers give them high marks.

"They don't try to shaft you. That's all I can say these are honest guys who do good work and they don't try to sell you stuff you don't need," said Will Funk.

In the latest edition of the non-profit Bay Area Consumers' Checkbook, Emerald Auto receives double check marks -- that means it is rated highly for quality and price.

Robert Krughoff heads up the Checkbook staff.

"Checkbook has found big price differences big quality differences and probably the most important point is there is no relationship between price and quality," said Krughoff.

"We did a good job and never cheated anyone, as far as we know," said Seamus Gaffney from Emerald Auto.

Across town we found another gem, the Blue Cross Pet Hospital.

In San Francisco, horses were a major part of the practice when it was set back in the 1920's. There has only been three vets, Dr. Sherman Wong is the latest in the line.

"My philosophy is to provide the care with the reasonable price," said Dr. Sherman Wong from Blue Cross Pet Hospital. "We like to be a neighborhood hospital. A lot of the others are larger and multi-practice. We try to keep it simple and that's how we keep our rates down."

Dr. Wong's hospital gets double check marks too, and that means a lot.

"I think people are very high on their vets in terms of quality of care and competence, but when it comes to keeping costs down, there are a lot of vets who get pretty low ratings on keeping costs down," said Krughoff.

The latest edition of Bay Area Consumers' Checkbook is on newsstands and you can also check it out online.


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